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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Phalene Dog Description & correct Phalene Dog Ear Setting

The Phalene is considered a variant of the Papillon in the AKC, where they are registered as Papillons and shown and judged in the same classes. The breed standard is the same with the exception of the dropped ear, which does not sit as low on the head as that of other spaniel types. In nations where clubs follow the guidelines of the FCI, the Phalene is considered a separate breed.
AKC Phalene/Papillon Standard
(Click on the images to see them larger)

The Phalene Dog standard is exactly the same as the the standard of the Papillon dog, with the ears as the only exception.
The ears should be set against the head exactly the same as the Papillon ears .
Notice that the ear of a Phalene dog has a slight lift at the base of the ear, before it falls.
This is very important for the health of the dog, it lets a good amount of air to ventilate the ear, which then prevents him from getting those ear infections, which we see in many of the drop ear breeds, where the ear leather hangs heavy against the ear canal. 
There are notable differences between a Phalene ear and those of other Spaniel Breeds.
The ear should not be low set on the head as on a Cocker Spaniel, rather than the setting is in the same fashion as the ears of a Papillon: higher on the skull, and in a 45 degree angle.
Because the Phalene wears his ears down, they often appear to sit lower on the skull.
The light leather of the Phalene's ear is normal and very desirable. When the Phalene in motion, the air currents will often lift the ear leather lightly, and give them the appearance of gently waving  "wings" . the ears do not come up as in a Papillon, but pull back against the neck.
As with the erect ear Papillon, the ears should be large,have  rounded tips, and a rather wide base, and as an adult have long silky hair coverage on the ear.
In Phalene puppies, one will see quite often more leather lift at the base of the ear , as the dog grows to maturity, the ear will "settle", especially with the right amount of ear fringing, which will further stabilize the drop of the ear leather.

One should not mistake a "soft" ear in Phalene , or Papillon Dogs.
A soft ear is an unstable ear, not up, nor down, or only the tips fold over, or one ear up, one ear down. Soft ears are considered a fault in each breed variety.

The Phalene should be a dainty elegant dog, with a somewhat more sweet expression than the "perky" Papillon. The Phalene should be lively, outgoing, and intelligent. Although a good watchdog, he should not be at all aggressive. Phalenes, because of their dropped ears, look longer than they really are, in reality, they should be slightly longer than their height is.
They are eager to please and often  excel  in obedience and agility sports.
The Phalene has a charming character, and will thrive in good company of it's human owner.

Patience is required to see a Phalene puppy grow. The puppy's ears may go up and down while teething, as well as out to the side.
Only time will tell for sure if the puppy will be a Phalene.